NEWS

In Brief

SUDDEN DEATH

Deputy chief of Nea Smyrni police station dies after detainee escapes The deputy chief of the Nea Smyrni police station in southern Athens was found dead in his apartment yesterday just hours after being informed that a detainee had escaped from a holding cell at the station. Police said the unnamed officer had been suffering from heart problems. He was found yesterday morning by officers who went to his apartment in Alimos after he failed to show up at work despite being informed of the escape of a 20-year-old from the police station. The detainee, an Albanian national, was about to be deported after being arrested for living in Greece illegally. ATHENS QUAKE Tremor shakes city in early hours An earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale shook Athens early yesterday, according to the Athens Observatory’s Geodynamic Institute. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The tremor struck at 2.10 a.m. and its epicenter was located in the area of Mount Pendeli, northeast of the capital. Omonia attacks Three armed men attacked and robbed three foreign nationals in Omonia, central Athens, late on Saturday in separate incidents, police said. The suspects, armed with a knife, stole 500 euros from a 29-year-old from Kashmir and 200 euros from a second victim shortly afterward. The second victim, from Pakistan, was taken to hospital after being stabbed in the throat and back. A third man, also from Kashmir, also reported being attacked and robbed by men who, police said, were the same suspects. Sea rescue Coast guard officers rescued a 19-year-old man near the Ionian island of Corfu on Saturday morning after he fell overboard from an Italian cruise ship, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. A search-and-rescue mission was launched after Italian authorities informed the Greek coast guard that the man fell from the ship while it was sailing in international waters west of Corfu. Coast guard patrol boats and two air force helicopters were sent to search for the man. He was taken to a hospital in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece. Fugitive caught A 41-year-old Albanian national who was wanted for murder and illegal possession of firearms in his country was arrested in Thessaloniki, police said yesterday, after being on the run from authorities for eight years. The unnamed fugitive was caught after a tip-off, officers said. In 1998, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail in Albania. Biker shot A 35-year-old fitness instructor was shot in the leg in Vyronas, eastern Athens, on Saturday night after an argument between two motorcyclists over who had the right of way, police said. The victim is being treated at the Laiko Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. He claimed that he did not know his attacker and said the two men argued over who had the right of way at a road junction. Chios migrants The coast guard detained seven illegal immigrants off the coast of the eastern Aegean island of Chios on Saturday morning, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The migrants had set off in two rowboats from Turkey, officers said. Two of the illegal immigrants dived into the sea when they saw the patrol boat approaching but were pulled out of the water by officers and taken to the island’s reception center along with the other five migrants. Grenade explosion A car was damaged in Ekali, northern Athens, early on Saturday by a hand grenade thrown by two unknown men traveling by motorbike, police said. The car belonged to an employee at a security firm and police believe that the incident is related to personal differences. EYDAP theft Cables to the value of 16,000 euros were stolen from the facilities of the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) in Avlona, north of Athens, early on Saturday, police said.